“There was great joy in that city.”
Today we skip to the 8th chapter of the Acts of the Apostles for a reading titled: "Philip in Samaria.” Philip was one of the assistants chosen by the apostles in chapter 6.
Here's the back story:
Some of the Jewish community has converted to Christianity. Others are pushing back and persecuting Christians. The most famous of these is Saul who later becomes Paul, after his conversion on the road to Damascus.
The Samaritans pay attention to Philip. Unclean spirits are excised and the paralyzed and crippled are cured. This is even before the "big guns" (Peter and John) leave Jerusalem to lay hands on them. They must have been really good Samaritans. (I couldn’t resist the pun.)
This attentiveness to the word of God leading to great things provides me with the opportunity to share an idea that has been percolating for several weeks.
Back in theological school I learned of a concept which affects churches known as “The Slow Buffalo.” Here’s how it works: The group is advised of a need. Everyone mutters an excuse and runs away as fast as possible leaving the slow buffalo with the job.
Stories of the vibrant and growing Christian community of Acts cause me to wonder why today’s church can be so disconnected from their energy. They also fuel my desire to go beyond my assigned role to ACT more like them.
The antidote to the slow buffalo might be found in the fable “Stone Soup.” The people’s attentiveness and willingness to act causes great things to happen. (Soup from a stone….fancy that.)
Our social concerns ministry is an e-mail list of 40 people willing to act from time to time in response various needs. Future goals are twofold:
- Add more people to the list
- Create a talent bank of skills to be applied to needs that arise
Here’s what you can do: Add your name and e-mail to our list.
Remember "Acts" is not just a name. It is a verb.
Blessed to be in ministry WITH YOU at St. Mary’s,